Student Background Information: Prior to teaching this lesson, students need an understanding of the classification of animals and the organization of zoos. If students do not possess this background knowledge, the teacher can provide access to the following video: "Animal Classification" YouTube video (1 minute 43 seconds)
During the lesson, students will be required to navigate to a website using a technological device. Students will also be required to work in collaborative groups of 4-5 students. They will need to be familiar with the jigsaw strategy of breaking away from their group to create new groups for sharing information.
Teacher Background Preparation:
Prior to beginning the lesson, the teacher should put a colored dot sticker (or use markers to create a colored dot) on the corner of notebook paper, being sure to create enough papers for each student in the class. This strategy will allow students to break into partner groups at the beginning of the lesson.
The teacher needs to select 4-5 animals for students to research. The teacher should find photos of the animals to show to students and to use in creating an online survey for students to prioritize their choices. The survey should allow students to rank their preference of animals and give reasons for their choices. Google Forms and Survey Monkey are two resources that can be used to create an online survey. If a zoo field trip will be connected to this particular unit, the teacher should select animals that can be viewed at the zoo location chosen for the field trip.
The teacher should preview the YouTube videos to determine the two best videos to show students. A concept web chart or a chart list should be created for students to share their background knowledge regarding zoos and animal classification. One of the literature books should be located and previewed. The teacher should be familiar with the jigsaw strategy of grouping students, and should also have the class divided into groups of 4-5 students for the lesson.
Teacher Background Information: The first zoo is credited to Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt in 3500 B.C. The exotic animals she collected included hippos, elephants, baboons, and wildcats. The animals were gathered for personal amusement, intimidation of enemies, or to provide hunting opportunities in a closed setting. In 1907 a zoo in Germany was the first to use open enclosures surrounded by moats, rather than barred cages, to better replicate animals' natural environments. The Central Park Zoo opened in New York in 1860 as the first public zoo in the United States.
The function of zoos started as a means to demonstrate royal power. The purpose shifted from entertainment of the imperial family to scientific research and education, as well as public entertainment. Zoos began to consider conservation as their central purpose in the 1970s. To show their dedication to this issue many zoos stopped having animals perform tricks for visitors. Because of the mass destruction of wildlife habitats, many species of animals are endangered. Zoos hope to stop or slow the decline of these species by breeding animals in captivity and reintroducing them into the wild. They also aim to teach visitors the importance of animal conservation letting visitors witness the animals firsthand.